The Group of Seven (G7) leaders on Saturday rushed to release a joint statement at their ongoing annual summit in Japan’s western city of Hiroshima.
The G7 Hiroshima Leaders’ Communique was suddenly issued with one single version in English on Saturday afternoon, followed by two revised versions sent to on-site media by Japan’s foreign ministry as of 8 p.m. local time.
The statement indicated that G7 leaders are taking steps to enhance their ongoing strategic coordination on economic resilience and economic security by reducing vulnerabilities and countering malign practices that exploit and reinforce them.
It said that this complements the corresponding steps we are taking to enhance supply chain resilience as laid out in the G7 Clean Energy Economy Action Plan.
Furthermore, they underlined the importance of cooperating both within the G7 as well as with all our partners to enhance global economic resilience, including by supporting a more significant role for low and middle-income countries in supply chains in a way that also promotes their diversification and local value creation and benefits local workers and communities everywhere.
The statement indicated that G7 leaders will address non-market policies and practices designed to reinforce dependencies, and will counter-economic coercion.
Moreover, they reiterated their commitment to ensuring that the clearly defined, narrow set of sensitive technologies that are crucial for national security or could threaten international peace and security are appropriately controlled, without unduly impacting broader trade in technology.
They also affirmed that their cooperation to strengthen economic resilience and economic security will be rooted in maintaining and improving a well-functioning international rules-based system, in particular the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core. To these ends, we will work and coordinate through the G7 framework to make year-on-year progress holistically.
Shared concerns regarding global security
The statement affirmed G7 shared responsibility and determination to coordinate on preventing the cutting-edge technologies we develop from being used to further military capabilities that threaten international peace and security.
“To that end, we will share, as appropriate, information and experiences to further develop a common understanding of such risks and the policy tools needed to address them and take further actions where necessary,” the statement read.
This includes those related to export and investment, corresponding to the circumstances of each country. We will further strengthen multilateral efforts to cooperate in the field of export controls to ensure gaps in our dual-use technology protection ecosystem cannot be exploited.
Moreover, the G7 leaders said that they have a common interest in preventing the narrow set of technological advances that are assessed to be core to enhancing the military and intelligence capabilities of actors who may use these capabilities to undermine international peace and security, from being fueled by our companies’ capital, expertise, and knowledge.
“We recognize that appropriate measures designed to address risks from outbound investment could be important to complement existing tools of targeted controls on exports and inbound investments, which work together to protect our sensitive technologies from being used in ways that threaten international peace and security,” the statement added.
The G7 leaders committed to providing clarity to the private sector regarding these common goals while continuing to coordinate, share lessons, and seek to align their approaches where feasible to maximize the effectiveness of their efforts.
Unusual to release statement early
It was an unusual move to release the document ahead of schedule as the three-day gathering will conclude on Sunday, local media reported, citing the usual practice of issuing a statement on the last day of the summit.
Doubts have been raised as at previous Japan-hosted G7 summits the Japanese foreign ministry usually issued a statement in English and Japanese almost simultaneously on the very last day, local media reported.
Japan’s national news agency Kyodo said the bloc might have decided to issue the joint statement in advance to make it noticeable, due to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s high-profile visit to Japan.
According to local media, Zelensky arrived in Hiroshima on Saturday and will attend a Ukraine-focused session with G7 leaders on Sunday.
The G7 consists of the United States, Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Canada and Japan.
Amid waves of protests, the G7 leaders’ annual summit opened in the western Japanese city on Friday. In Hiroshima’s Funairi Daiichi Park, not far from the summit’s venue, hundreds of protesters from all over Japan, even abroad, gathered to decry the finger-pointing bloc that advertises its version of world order.